Poopy is a handsome older gentleman who is 22 years old! Not many cats live to this age, and surely genetics play a role, but excellent care helps a lot.
Poopy has had his share of various problems, each of which has been tackled bravely by his mom and the vets at Oakview. His current list of problems: megacolon (leading to frequent constipation), history of urinary blockage, heart murmur, arthritis, early stages of kidney disease, and an anemia.
Poopy’s senior issues started when he was just a young sprout around 11 years old with constipation and a urinary blockage side by side. His mom treated that and he has had to be on some sort of medications or special diet since. Poopy’s poo needs to be a certain consistency so as not to get too big because of what is called mega colon. This is an anatomical defect that causes part of the intestine to be enlarged and stretched, so stool gets caught up in this area and cannot easily come out. Canned food with a certain percentage of fiber helps with this issue, but sometimes medications such as a motility drug and a stool softener are needed.
A couple of years later a heart murmur was found during a routine pre dental exam. A heart murmur is a disturbance in the blood flow. Many cats can live with a heart murmur with no issues, but diagnostics are needed to rule out how severe or problematic it is. In Poopy’s case he has had no problems arising from it.
Poopy’s mom understands that senior cats need to see a vet more often. So, every year he gets 1-2 senior wellness exams. These consist of not only the exam but some diagnostics as well. Every year until 2015 they were unremarkable. That was when he was diagnosed with early staged kidney disease. A new special diet was started at that time to keep his phosphorus low. The following year, during his annual senior screen, an anemia was found. This can go along with early stages of kidney disease but can also mean a GI bleed of some sort. This is something that the owner brings him in for routine monitoring for.
Most recently in 2017 he has been diagnosed with a bladder tumor that will periodically cause blood clots to come out in his urine. An ultrasound is needed to monitor the progression of the tumor.
At 22 years of age you cannot tell he has such a long list of health issues. He still cuddles with his mom and brother Painten, and sometimes even gets to lay in bed with the family chickens. He has a good appetite and can still jump up on the couch and mom’s bed. As much as the staff at Oakview would like to take credit for his great life, it has a lot to do with how much his mom loves him and the great care she takes of her fur babies!
Update since this post was written: On May 17, 2018 Poopy was euthanized. The tumor in his bladder had grown to such an extent that he could barely urinate. There are many conditions we cannot cure, but we can manage them. All of Poopy’s care kept him alive longer and extended his time with his family. We all join his mom in mourning this very special cat.
Written by Angel Blenker, CVT and Karen Russell
Angel has been a certified veterinary technician since 2004. Oakview has been lucky enough to have her since 2006. Her passions include nutrition, alternative therapies, and client education.
For the past 28 years, Karen has worked with animals in a variety of settings, most recently as a receptionist at Oakview. In her six years there, she has continued to be passionate about veterinary medicine, client education, and recently, digital marketing.